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New Study Finds Skin Elasticity Declines with Sun Exposure

by kelly / October, 21 2020 01:30

Photo of a wrinkly dog

One of causes of skin aging is the sun. Experts agree that wearing sunscreen and practicing good sun protection can help prevent and slow down skin aging. Don’t believe me? Well a new study from the Biological Science Research Laboratory of Kao Corporation, a leading international ingredient supply company, proved that skin elasticity declines with sun exposure.

Skin Elasticity Decreases with UV Exposure

For over 30 years Kao Corporation has been researching and studying skin aging. In 2011 they were the first to discover microfibrillar-associated protein 4 (MFAP-4) – a protein essential for the formation of our skin’s elastin. Their 2011 study concluded that high levels of MFAP-4 enhanced skin elastin formation while lower levels did the opposite.

In their new 2020 study Kao looked at women of all ages. What did they find? Well, comparing MFAP-4 amounts in UV-exposed and unexposed skin areas of women in their 60s “revealed lower levels in exposed areas, confirming that MFAP-4 in human skin is reduced by chronic UV exposure.” By looking at women in the same age group and isolating for UV exposure, the study proved that the sun lowered MFAP-4 levels in the skin.

The study also found that MFAP-4 amounts decrease as we age naturally. It looked at unexposed skin on woman in their 60s vs. unexposed skin on woman in their 20s and 30s. The researchers found lower levels of MFAP-4 in women in theirs 60s compared to their younger counterparts.

In the end the study showed that while elastin does decrease naturally with age, UV exposure accelerates the process.

Why Does Your Skin Elastin Matter?

So what you might say? It’s important because as your skin loses its elasticity it begins to sag and then wrinkles and fine lines form. Elastin, not surprisingly, helps maintain the skin’s elasticity. So maintaining your skin’s elastin, this is what MFAP-4 helps with and what UV exposure degrades, is important to keeping your skin looking youthful.

And now that you know a major part of maintaining skin elasticity is preventing UV exposure – apply that anti-aging weapon, sunscreen, every day and stay safe and protected in the sun.

Science of Skin Aging

All these studies are great in that they help us to understand how our skin ages. A little knowledge goes a long way to keeping our skin healthy.

For even more about the science behind our skin and skin aging check out our Education and Anti-Aging blog series.

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